Crawshay Bailey 1789-1872

Iron Master and Mine Owner (One of the last to succumb to PDs)
Crawshay Bailey
Crawshay Bailey was born in the year 1789 the youngest son of John Bailey of Wakefield in Yorkshire and Susannah the sister of Richard Crawshay. His father was a Yorkshire farmer who came from Great Wenham in Suffolk. Crawshay’s uncles Richard Crawshay was the outstanding ironmaster of Cyfartha firm Normanton in Yorkshire.

Crawshay left Yorkshire when he was twelve years old to work for his uncle Richard Crawshay (Cyfartha) with his older brother Joseph. Crawshay Bailey was a witness to his uncle’s death on the 26th September, 1809 and when he died in 1810 he was left £1000. Richard Crawshay’s son-in-law Benjamin Hall was sole executor and large legacies left to Crawshay and Joseph enabled them to purchase Nantyglo works. It is said that Crawshay continued at Cyfartha until 1820 when he left and joined his brother Joseph at Nantyglo on the departure of Mathew Wayne. It is said that Crawshay Bailey had inherited from his uncle the same forceful personality and also his extreme knowledge of iron-making and mining.

Crawshay and Joseph Bailey were ruthless and single-minded in achieving their industrial and social ambitions. Crawshay, in particular was described as “stern and tyrannical, (and) the hardest of taskmasters” and had fortified towers erected at his Nantyglo home for protection during times of worker unrest. So did Samuel Homfray of Tredegar did likewise, and although these were extreme examples, and there is little doubt that many ironmasters and other industrialists of this period were very much in the same vein. Crawshay Bailey was so proud if his achievements that he was reported as warning reformers in the lead up to the Chartists riots in 1839 that he would “rather risk my life than lose my property”.

In 1811 Joseph Bailey entered into a partnership with Mathew Wayne, also from Cyfartha, and purchased the Nantyglo Ironworks which had been idle since 1802. The finance for this venture was probably made possible by the £32,000 that Joseph received from selling his share of the Cyfartha Works to Richard Crawshay’s son; William the elder, who had been left a three-eighths share in the works, Mather Wayne left the partnership in 1820.

In 1820 Crawshay Bailey married Ann Moore; but his only son and heir, Crawshay Bailey Jnr, was borne by Sarah Baker, a servant in his household in 1841. His Crawshay Bailey Jnr married Elizabeth, Countess Bettina, daughter of John Baptiste, Count of Metaxa; they had two daughters, Clara and Augusta, after the death of Bailey Jnr at the age of 46. His two daughters managed the estate until they put it up for sale in 1920. Clara Married William James Gordon Canning of Hartpury Court Gloucester, and Augusta Emily married William Carne Curre, Itton Court Monmouthshire.

A plaque was donated to Llandaff Cathedral to Archdeacon John Griffiths by Mrs Crawshay Bailey and her daughters, Mrs Gordon Canning and Mrs Curre, as a token of deep respect and regard for his memory. This plaque was destroyed when in World War II a bomb dropped outside the cathedral.

Thanks to Llandaff Cathedral
Joseph and Crawshay Bailey purchased Beaufort Ironworks in 1833 for £45,000, because it meant that by concentrating the production of pig iron in Beaufort, the output of the furnaces and rolling mills at Nantyglo was substantially increased. Together the two brothers made Nantyglo Ironworks one of the greatest in the world. However even though the brothers exceptionally successful they still gave the town of Abergavenny a park, aptly named Bailey Park.

The running of the Beaufort Ironworks was left to his nephew William Partridge (1800-1862) and Joseph Needham a mineral agent. However, unlike many iron-masters, Crawshay was kind to old workmen by finding light jobs for them within the works. He was known to have kept the collieries and ironworks running at a loss rather than have men unemployed. It is also said that he might have owned the Rhymney Ironworks until 1825, because it is believed that he built the tramway from Rhymney to Bassaleg.

Joseph Bailey retired in 1830 from the management of the works and moved to Glan Usk Estate, near Crickhowell. Crawshay retired from Nantyglo in 1845 and the left management of the works to his nephew William Partridge, who remained at the Beaufort Ironworks for over twenty-nine years. He then went on to develop the Aberaman Colliery and connect the Aberdare Railway to the Taff Vale Railway.

In 1835 it is recorded that Bailey extended his hospitality to five leading Ministers and the Moderator of the Calvinistic Methodist Association of South Wales even though je was himself a staunch Anglican. This was probably due to the fact that as the Associations meetings in Tredegar in 1834 (Merthyr Riots took place in the same year) it was ruled that no trade unionist could be admitted to church membership.

South Wales 1839 Meeting between Mr Crawshay Bailey and Mr John Nixon (from the Memoir of John Nixon the “Father of Export Welsh Steam Coal).

An appointment in connection with the great iron-works of Mr Crawshay Bailey, at Nanty-y-glo in South Wales, became vacant in 1839, and was advertised in the Newcastle papers. The young John Nixon a man of twenty-four, who came from the farm-house at Barlow.

The advertisement appears to have been somewhat vague in its phraseology, but it sufficed to tempt Mr Nixon to become an applicant, and, in his application, he had the cordial support of Mr Gray, who, as the trusted adviser of Lord Bute, was widely known and respected in South Wales. He also secured the recommendation of Mr Plummer, a partner of the Taylor family of Ryhope, who had extensive connections and a large business in the coal -working and coal shipping trades. Eventually negotiations arrived at such a stage that, although no formal and binding engagement had been offered or accepted, and although, as a fact, Mr Nixon was far from understanding the precise nature of the position which was vacant, it seemed to him worthwhile to proceed to South Wales in person; and, before the year was out, he accomplished the journey by the slow and roundabout method of the day. Two days in a stagecoach carried him no farther on his way than to London. Then came a long drive from London to Bristol; then a sea passage from Bristol to Newport, Monmouthshire; then he travelled by tramway from Newport to Nant-y-glo. Five days to go from Newcastle to Nant-y-glo, such was the rate of travelling in 1839. If the conditions had been those of to-day, Mr Nixon might have breakfasted at Newcastle, taken luncheon in London, and dined at Nant-y-glo.

It was on a Saturday evening that Mr Nixon reached his destination and became the guest of Mr Crawshay Bailey, who appears to have spent the first evening of their acquaintance in “taking stock,” as schoolboys say, of the young North Countryman. The great iron-master plied him with questions of every kind concerning the details of coal and iron work, with the object, no doubt, of making sure that he had got hold of a man capable of doing the work which was to be entrusted to him; and we may be sure that he obtained the fullest satisfaction, for, above all things, the young man knew his business. Still the evening passed away, and the Sunday also the men were not as prone then as now to transact business on Sunday; before any definite offer was made to Mr Nixon. When it came it was a staggering disappointment. Mr Nixon had come all the way from Newcastle under the impression that the position vacant was that of chief manager of the whole great enterprise of ironworks and colliery, of which the former was far the more important, the output of the colliery being but 250 tons a day.

To his great surprise he found that Mr Bailey offered to him the management of the colliery only, and he did not hesitate to express courteously but plainly his astonishment that he should have been encouraged to come from the far North of England to discuss so insignificant an offer.

Far from being annoyed by Mr Nixon’s plain speaking, Mr Bailey proceeded to unfold his intentions more plainly. He had, he explained, a manager in charge of the ironworks already, but he was not satisfied with the manner in which that gentleman performed his duties. He had never desired that Mr Nixon should occupy permanently so inferior a position as that of manager of the small colliery connected with the works. That was merely temporary; it was no more than an excuse for having him on the spot until the opportunity came for dismissing the manager then in office. To a man of ordinary character Mr Crawshay Bailey’s offer would have presented great temptations. The great iron-master, for Crawshay Bailey was certainly entitled so to be styled, had said to him in effect, “Accept this minor situation as a stopgap, and, as soon as I can see a decent excuse for sending the chief manager about his business, you shall have his place.” This meant that, if he was prepared to enter into this rather false position, he would have every chance of becoming chief manager of ironworks of the highest position and prosperity.

It was suggested that he should serve under the man whom he was destined to supersede. This, of course, was not intended to be known; but it was almost inevitable that, if Nixon accepted the position, the real intention of Mr Crawshay Bailey should leak out; and, when it did leak out, friction, ill-feeling, and awkwardness of relations must necessarily ensue. On the other hand, if by any chance the intention should be kept secret to the end, Nixon could not have failed to feel that he was occupying an unsatisfactory and even treacherous position.

The young North Countryman, who, throughout his life, was marked by directness and independence of manner, informed the great iron-master that his acceptance of the position, offered under these very unpleasant conditions, would certainly involve undesirable consequences, and a very uncomfortable series of relations between him and the man he was to supersede; and he insisted that, at any rate, he must not be pressed for an answer until he had made inquiries with regard to a vacancy at Dowlais which might or might not be open; and Mr Crawshay Bailey, to his honour, assented to the suggestion at once. He declined the offer.

Aberaman Estate

Crawshay Bailey in 1841 he secured the second 1/3rd of Mineral Rights in the Aberaman Estate from William Curre of Ithon Court. In the year 1844 construction of the Taff Vale Railway began and at the end of the year Crawshay Bailey went to live in Aberaman and in 1845 he commenced the new Aberaman Colliery and Engine House, he patronized the Brass Band which met at the company shop where the Band Institute is now.

Mr Bailey in 1845 secured the lease of the remaining 1/3rd from J.P. Gwynne Holford and then in 1847 he leased part of the estate to David Williams (Alaw Goch) to work 3 seams of coal in a pit that became known as Williams Pit.

In 1846 he promoted the Gas Company and was its first Chairman, St John’s Church was first lit by gas in 1849. He was one of the twelve original members of the First Board of Health and had three public houses named after him Crawshay’s Temple Bar Aberaman, Bailey’s Arms Aberdare now Barclay’s Bank and The Bailey’s in Mountain Ash.

The Bailey brothers were responsible for the building of Nantyglo House, which was a fine mansion and Crawshay remained there until 1860, like his brother Joseph they were avid land buyer. This can be shown in the large areas of land he purchased at Aberaman, Mountain Ash and the Rhondda Valleys. In buying the Aberaman estate he also in 1836 tool possession of its mansion.

Aberaman House
Aberaman House
Perhaps the most outstanding achievement of Crawshay Bailey was the construction of a tramway from Beaufort and Nantyglo down the Clydach Gorge to Llanfoist to Join Brecon and Abergavenny Canal in just seven months. He was also involved in making a railway from the Forest of Dean by the way of Coleford, Monmouth and Usk to Pontypool and the Bill was eventually passed in August 1853.

He was appointed High Sherriff of Brecknock in 1837 and between 1852 and 1868 he was a Conservative member for the Monmouth boroughs when he was defeated by Sir John Ramsden having previously fought five unsuccessful elections.  He was a pioneer of railways in South Wales and much of his parliamentary effort was spent on Bills concerned with these innovations. He ignored all legislations against employing women and children underground and he treated with contempt regulations enforcing safety in ironworks and mines.

Crawshay Bailey was one of the leading ironmasters of South Wales and as J. Lloyd said of him, he was “one of the great men”. He had a keen regard for the future of the industry, he had made his own. His ideas were always geared to the future expansion of the coal industry in South Wales.

Stain glass dedicated to Crawshay Bailey by his son Crawshay Bailey II
Stain glass dedicated to Crawshay Bailey by his son Crawshay Bailey II
(St Faith’s Church Llanfoist)
At Llanfoist Church two stained glass windows serve as a fitting memorial to Crawshay Bailey and it was restored by his son. He was succeeded by his only son and Heir Crawshay Bailey (1821-1887) of Maindiff Court.

Crawshay Bailey was one of the leading ironmasters of South Wales and as J. Lloyd said of him, he was “one of the great men”. He had a keen regard for the future of the industry, he had made his own. His ideas were always geared to the future expansion of the coal industry in South Wales.

He bought Llanfoist House and retired there in 1850, it was here that Crawshay Bailey; ironmaster died on the 9th January, 1872 and was buried there. Shortly before his death Crawshay Bailey undertook a project at his own expense to provide Abergavenny with a clock tower, however, unfortunately this was not completed until after his death.

Stained Glass dedicated to Crawshay Bailey
Stained Glass dedicated to Crawshay Bailey
Celebration of the nuptials of Mr Crawshay Baker Bailey 03.10.1863

Tuesday last will undoubtedly figure as a red- letter day in the calendar of local events! From the bottom of Aberaman to the Upper Village Gate unusual life and gaiety was observable on that day. The marriage of Mr. Crawshay Baker Bailey, the only son of Mr. Crawshay Bailey, M.P., with the Countess of Metaxa, which took place at Cheltenham, on Tuesday morning, occasioned all this unwonted excitement. The interests of Aberdare and Aberaman and the Bailey interests have, to a great extent, been for many years identical. It is not to be wondered at then that some public demonstration of delight should have taken place on the happening of so auspicious an event as the wedding of Mr. Bailey’s only son. The shops were closed, the merry bells of St. Elvan s rang out their merriest peals, and gay banners floated in the breeze. As early as six o’clock, the booming of twenty-four well-manned cannon, which had been safely planted on the tips near the Aberaman Works, stirred up a feeling of excitement throughout the valley, and reminded its peaceable inhabitants that an event in which many took a lively interest was about to happen.

Shortly after 10 o’clock, a procession was formed near the Aberaman Office, which afterwards marched to Aberdare in the following order:-

Band of the Rifle Volunteer Corps,
The Rifle Volunteers, in Uniform,
The Committee of Management,
Tradesmen and others,

Mill-men, Colliers,
Forge-men, Miners,
Furnace-men.  Farm-men

Manifestations of respect for Mr. Bailey were displayed on all sides, and the welkin rung at frequent intervals with the, lusty cheers of those who formed the procession. In returning to Aberaman, and when near the turnpike, a telegram from Mr. Crawshay Bailey, senior, stating that the ceremony had been performed was received by Mr. Naysmith, who announced the substance of its contents to all within hail. Deafening cheers followed the announcement, and the procession afterwards wended its way to a field near the Aberaman Works. Here Mr. Naysmith thanked the workmen for the orderly manner in which they had conducted them- selves. He expressed a hope that the young married pair would come and live amongst them, and that the young master would be as good as the old one. He had no doubt the young lady also was amiable and kind; that she would visit the poor and the sick, and thus win the esteem and affection of all. Mr. Naysmith concluded his remarks by proposing three hearty cheers for the young couple, a proposition which we need hardly state, was enthusiastically responded to. Dr. Price also delivered an exceedingly humorous and telling speech in Welsh, concluding by proposing a vote of thanks to the band, the volunteers, and the two conductors (the Messrs. Naysmith) remarking that a more orderly and Well-conducted procession he had never witnessed. Dr. Price’s proposition was also heartily responded to.

The procession then broke up, and the members thereof returned to the “Swan,” where tickets for a quart of beer, and an abundant supply of bread and cheese, were distributed amongst the men the committee and their friends also partook of luncheon. Festivities of different kinds prevailed throughout the day, and in the afternoon, an abundant supply of tea and plum cake was, at the command of Mrs. Bailey, Jun., given to the Aberaman School-children. The proceedings in connection with the tea-party were of a hearty description, the children entering into the spirit of the day with innocent zeal. The workmen engaged at the upper end of the valley were treated to a substantial dinner, which was admirably served at the Stag Hotel, Trecynon.

The Dinner at the Swan Hotel

At the Swan Hotel, Aberaman, about 90 persons made up of agents, over-men, contractors, and others connected with the Aberaman Works, sat down to an excellent repast, and all appeared to enjoy the good things set before them. After the cloth was removed, Mr. James Naysmith, jun., was voted to the chair, and Mr. William Allen, Furnace Manager, to the Vice-chair. Mr. Naysmith, on rising to address the meeting, said that he felt himself rather out of place in the position in which he was placed, but as it was the wish of his friends present that he should occupy the chair, he felt that it was his duty to comply; all there should be interested in the event which had called them together, and in consideration of this he hoped that everyone would be obedient when called upon to do something towards carrying out the proceedings of the evening. Mr. Allen, in responding to these remarks, said that the marriage of Mr. Bailey, jun., and the prospect of his coming to reside at Aberaman, ought to be a cause of gratulation to the locality. Alluding to many improvements, and extensions made in a neighbouring works, by the relative of an iron master, who had for some years retired from business, be said it was very probable young Mr. Bailey would do the same. All his workmen ought therefore to be glad, as he was placed on a better footing to carry out improvements and extensions than perhaps any other iron master in the country. The toast of the “Queen,” was then proposed by Mr. Naysmith, and warmly drunk by all present. The health of the Prince and Princess of Wales, the Princess Alice, and all the Royal Family was afterwards drunk in the same manner. Then followed the health of Mr. Bailey; jun., and his young bride, which was drunk with much cheering. Mr. James Phillips, senior, then proposed the health of Mr. Bailey and Mrs. Bailey, senior, observing at the same time THAT the old gentleman ought not forgotten, as he was the root from which the young branch grew, and on whom most present had been dependent for many years. This being heartily responded to, the health of Mr. Naysmith, senior, and his family, was pro- posed, and drunk with much warmth. The chairman, in responding to this toast, said he was much flattered by the manner in which the health of his father, and that of his family had been drank, and he trusted they would always merit the approbation of those with whom they were connected. Welsh addresses, were then delivered by Mr. Daniel Davies and Mr. Thomas Thomas, both speakers expressing their satisfaction as old workmen under Mr. Bailey at the day’s proceedings. Mr. T. Thomas, in the course of his address, said he hoped that Mr. Bailey, jun., would possess a twofold part of the spirit of his father, and, like him, excel in enterprise and perseverance, and, under the smiles of Providence, be enabled to do more good in his day and generation than even his excellent father had. Several toasts were then drank, such as the agents and contractors of Aberaman, the officers of the rifle corps, &o. Several good songs were after- wards given, the singers being Mr. James Phillips jun.; Mr. R. Williams; Mr. Davies, Station master; Mr. John Naysmith; Mr. T. Davies, band-master; Mr. H. Cooper, and Mr. Johns, school-master. The latter sang some Welsh verses composed by him appropriate for the occasion. Votes of thanks were then awarded to the chairman and the vice-chairman, for the able manner in which they had filled the chairs, also to the host for his excellent arrangements, each of whom briefly responded. Altogether a most pleasant evening was spent, and the utmost good feeling and cordiality prevailed throughout the whole of the proceedings.

The Dinner at the Boot Hotel

The dinner came off at six o’clock and was a perfect success. A numerous party of gentlemen, comprising most of the tradesmen, together with the professional gentlemen of the town, sat down to a sumptuous spread. The tables groaned beneath good viands, and all the etcetera’s which the season would yield. The repast was altogether a splendid one, and reflected much credit upon the well-known hostelry in which it was served. After the cloth had been removed, and grace had been said by the Rev. David Richards, the chairman rose to propose the first toast “The Queen,” which was warmly received. This was followed by The Prince and Princess of Wales, and the rest of the “Royal family,” which was also well received.

The chairman next proposed the “Army and Navy, Coupled with the name of Capt. Powell.” Capt. Powell responded in a neat speech. He remarked that as he was no speaker he would hasten to get the matter over as quickly as possible. Aberdare, as they were all aware, did not offer any inducements as a place of residence to officers of either the army or the navy, and this would therefore account for the absence of members of the above professions; still, as a volunteer, he would Venture to respond, and he did so with the greatest possible pride. Before resuming his seat he would state that the volunteers numbered 150,000, which he thought was an honour to the country, the movement having been got up spontaneously. In conclusion he would express a hope that at some future period the 8th Glamorgan would be commanded by the gentleman whose nuptials they had met to celebrate. (Cheers.)

“The bishop and clergy, coupled with the name of the Vicar” was then given. The chairman said he had received a note [from the Vicar expressing his inability to attend, but that he had sent a representative in the person of Mr. Richards. The toast was heartily received, and the Rev. Mr. Richards said it devolved upon him, as the only representative of the clergy, to respond to it. He was sorry for the absence of the Vicar, but important duties rendered his presence necessary elsewhere. With regard to Mr. Bailey, jun. he knew him to be an amiable, frank, and unassuming young gentleman. He wished every happiness both to the bridegroom and his fair lady. He begged to thank them very heartily for drinking the health of the bishop and clergy.

The chairman then gave “The ministers of all denominations, coupled with the name of the Rev. Dr. Price,” who responded. He said he did not mean to trouble them with a lengthy speech at this early stage of the proceedings, but would briefly return his sincere thanks for the manner in which the toast had been received. He believed they, as ministers, were more indebted to Mr. Bailey, sen., than the Established Church, as there was not a denomination who had not experienced his liberality. He then referred to several instances of Mr. Bailey’s generosity in connection with his own denomination. He wished the young couple a long and happy life.

The chairman then rose to propose the toast of the evening, viz., “Success to the newly married couple,” and he would call upon Mr. Thomas, of Aberaman, to respond. (Cheers.) In doing so he (the chairman) remarked that he was glad to meet them on such an occasion. Such occasions were few and far between, as it was not every day that men of Mr. Bailey’s stamp got married. (Cheers.) He believed they were doing quite right in celebrating the event by a general holiday. The agents and tradesmen had thus shown in what respect they held Mr. Bailey. He would say of Mr. Bailey, sen., that he was one of the oldest, if not the oldest iron-master in the world. It must be congenial to Mr. Bailey’s feelings to learn, as he no doubt would, of the spontaneous manifestations of respect which had been shown him that day, and the meeting that evening would also show how highly he was regarded. He believed the result of this would be most gratifying. Mr. Bailey had raised Aberdare from a place of comparative obscurity to a place of eminence and note. (Applause). He (Mr. Bailey) was now fast approaching his eightieth year, and he believed his heart would vibrate with joy when he heard of the proceedings of that assembly and of the respect in which his son was held. (Cheers) It had been reported that the Aberaman Works was about to change hands, but he had no doubt the demonstration which had that day been made would do more towards preventing a sale of the works than any- thing that could be done. He wished the world to know that the people of Aberaman and Aber- dare had by their conduct that day proved that they unanimously rejoiced in the: marriage of Mr. Bailey, jun., for the old gentleman’s sake. (Cheers.) The newly married couple would soon be amongst them and they should then have an opportunity of witnessing personally the regard in which they were held. He had no doubt their reception would be a warm one, and he hoped they might live long in their midst that they might elevate the condition of the working classes if all that was social and moral. The toast was then drank amidst enthusiastic applause. Mr. Thomas, of Aberaman, thanked them for the warm manner in which they had received the toast. Of the bride he might say that she was young, beautiful, and noble. He had known Mr. Bailey from childhood and a. more amiable young gentleman there could not be. The Countess, was a happy lady and he (Mr. Bailey) a happy man. Mr. Thomas concluded his remarks by wishing them a long and happy life. (Cheers).

“The iron and coal trades, coupled with the name of C. Bailey, Jun. Esq.” was next proposed from the chair. Mr. Adams, of the Aberdare Iron Works, responded in a neat and appropriate speech. He said he had been called upon quite unexpectedly and regretted that it had not fallen to the lot of one of more matured years than himself to respond to the toast. They had passed through a long season of depression, and it must be a matter of rejoicing to all that there was now a prospect of better times. Trade had been in a desponding state for some time past through political and other causes, but he was glad to notice that things were improving, and thus prove beneficial to employers and employed. He hoped Mr. Bailey, jun., would be spared TO live long to take an active part in the iron and coal trades. He begged to thank them for the manner in which the toast had been received. Mr. Adams resumed his seat amidst loud applause.

The town and trade of Aberdare was next proposed and warmly received. Mr. Thomas Evans, grocer, responded on behalf of the tradesmen of Aberaman in an appropriate speech. Mr. Philip John, grocer, having been called upon, responded on behalf of the town of Aberdare. He said he felt proud of the honour conferred upon him. Twenty-one years ago he became an Aberdarian. They were then about a dozen shops in the parish -from Hirwain to Mountain Ash, and the inhabitants of the whole parish then amounted only to 6,400 in 1851, they increased to 14,999 and in 1861, 32,400. About 18 years ago Mr. Bailey commenced the Aberaman Works several coal pits were simultaneously opened, and the Abernant and Gadlys Works extended. In 1842, Aberdare was a mere village now it was an important town. He thought no inland town in the whole kingdom had increased so much as the town of Aberdare. At the same time the town was not what he would wish it to be. He would not yield to any gentleman present with regard to the respect he entertained for Mr. H. A. Bruce, the worthy member for the borough, than whom a more honest and conscientious member the House of Commons did not possess: but he hoped the day was not far distant when a town such as Aberdare, containing, as he had already stated, over 32,000 inhabitants, should have a member of its own. He did not wish to be deprived of Mr. Bruce as their representative, but he did not see why so important a town as Aberdare should not be directly and not indirectly represented in Parliament. (Cheers.) There was another thing he wished to mention. He referred to the postal arrangements of the town. Strange as it might appear, it was no less true, that a letter sent to Merthyr could not be answered under three days; that was to say a reply could not be received from a letter sent to Merthyr earlier than one could be received from a similar communication sent to London or Liverpool. He thought this was a defect which should be remedied at once. (Cheers.) He wished in conclusion to express a warm hope that Mr. and Mrs. Bailey, jun., would enjoy a. long and happy life. He also hoped that they would take up their residence at Aberaman House, and give the place the benefit of their presence, and he felt assured that if Mr. Bailey, jun.; would take the same interest in Aberaman as his father had done before him, they would shortly see the works increase three fold; Mr. John Concluded his re- marks by reciting a few stanzas bearing upon the Occasion. Mr. Williams (Carw Coch) responded in a suitable and telling Welsh speech on behalf of the tradesmen of Mill Street.

The Rev. W. Williams, Abercwmboi, next briefly proposed “The agents and workmen of the Aberaman Works.” This toast was ably and suitably responded to by Mr. Naysmith and Mr. E. D. Howells.

At this stage of the proceedings, Mr. William Lewis, surveyor, Aberaman; recited a number of impromptu verses, which caused Considerable amusement.

Mr. Pugh, of Aberaman, proposed “The ladies,” which was heartly drunk and humorously responded to by Capt. Powell.

The chairman next proposed “The committee of management, coupled with the name of Mr. E.G. Price, of the West of England Bank.” Mr. Price said they had placed him in rather an awkward position, inasmuch as he was not a member of the committee. He would, however, state that the committee had carried out their arrangements in a very discreet manner and were entitled to much praise. He was glad to notice that the gentlemen on the committee had not neglected the workmen, and he hoped that upon all occasions of public rejoicings the workmen would be permitted to share in the proceedings. He had no doubt that it the workmen were taken more notice of, and brought more in contact with their employers there would be fewer strikes and a better feeling would prevail between them. (Cheers.)

Song “The four-leaved Shamrock,” by Mr. R. P. Larke.

Mr. Evans, grocer, Aberaman, here’ read a number of englynion, and the following verses were afterwards read by the author thereof, Mr. Jas. Wells, of the Aberaman Iron Works:

Now, we’ll banish sadness,
All is mirth and gladness,
Merry music cheerfully is floating through the air.
Crowds begin to rally In Aberaman valley,
And merrily they’re ringing the bells 6f Aberdare.

Volunteers parading—
Marching—pro nenading
Committee-men and tradesmen—working men beside —
Altogether meeting,
To give a hearty greeting,
And kind salutation, to Bridegroom and to Bride.

Gladsome smiling faced
Take their proper places.
Joining in procession-numerous and grand;
While a pleasant feeling
O’er each breast is stealing,
Listening to the music of the Aberaman band.

Juveniles are walking,
This day—singing, talking,
About kind Mrs. Bailey’s treat of cake and tea
Happy little creatures
With joy beaming features,—
Truly, ’tis a pleasant sight for all to see.

Cannon loudly booming—
In the distance looming-
Flags and banners waving-every heart is gay.
Would you think it treason.
When you know the reason,
Why we thus assemble on this happy day?

Surely, ‘tis the dawning
Of a bridal morning;
May the wedded party know happiness for aye-
Providence attend them,
Ever, and defend them,
As they journey onward through life’s stormy way.

Twine them wreaths of roses,
Lilies fair and posies.
Strew upon their pathway—may their joys increase,
And have cause to, never-
Wedded bonds to sever,
But ever dwell in unity, love, happiness, and peace.

Lady of Metaxa,
We would not perplex her,
But proudly and triumphantly guard her through these dales
And for young Squire Bailey
We’ll shout right boldly, gaily,
Welcome, ever welcome, to thy residence in Wales!
Song-” The Village Blacksmith,” by Mr. W Jenkins.

The chairman then proposed the health of Mr. Bailey, M.P. and Mrs Bailey. The toast was drunk with musical honours followed by hearty cheers. Dr. Davies, of Bryngolwg, responded. He said he had known Mr. and Mrs. Bailey for many years and he much regretted they had left Aberdare. They were at all times kind and agreeable. The son was now about to take up his residence amongst us and he hoped he would prove equal, to his father. (Cheers.)

Mr. Howel Williams, of Pantygerdinen, in proposing the health of the chairman, recited the following englyn:-

I’n llywydd godidog, llawen — foddwn
Gydnabyddiaeth drylen
Mwy ein Naysmith byth fo’n ben,
Cawr o fawl, cywir elfen.

The toast was heartily received and drunk with musical honours. Dr. Price responded on behalf of the chairman who, he said, had laboured most assiduously throughout the proceedings, and he deserved much credit. It was felt that an address of congratulation should be presented to Mr. Bailey, and something appropriate to his bride They did not intend by this to enrich Mr. Bailey, for they all knew be was rich enough already. Ali they desired was to present the bride with some- thing suitable—for which they intended giving about 200 guineas—which she could look upon as a mark of respect awarded her by the people of Aberaman and Aberdare, and eventually hand down as a heirloom (Loud cheers.) As to Mr. Bailey, they would present him with an appropriate address, and perhaps a book containing the names of subscribers (cheers.) Mr. Naysmith had completely won his respect by his courtesy, kindness, and especially by his heartiness in this matter. Mr. Bailey might well feel proud at being represented by such a man as Mr. Naysmith, and he could really venture while i his works were in such hands to stretch himself out  on his sofa and smoke his cigar at ease. (Laughter.) Dr. Price then alluded humorously to the reception they intended giving the happy pair on their arrival in the town, and said he was proud they had drank the health of the chairman so warmly, for to say he was a jolly good fellow was not more than half what he deserved. (Loud applause.)

The chairman said he was only too proud to come amongst them, and if he left Aberdare to-morrow he would not forget the kindest he had experienced on all hands. After deferring to what the committee had done, Mr. Naysmith, in a eulogistic speech, proposed “The Press.” The toast was warmly received and suitably responded to. “The Host and Hostess” was then proposed by the chairman, who complimented them for the excellent manner in which they entertained the company. The toast was drunk with musical honours, after which Mr. Dyke briefly responded.

Mr. Brown, of the Vale of Neath Railway, proposed the health of the Vice-chairman, Mr. Thomas Thomas, and in the absence of his father, Mr. Thos. Thomas, jun., acknowledged the compliment.

Mr. Howel Williams read the following englynion:-

I Bailey a’i wyneb hylon-boed llwydd,
A byd llawn cysuron;
Hynaws ben addas boneddion,
Gwrol ei fryd—gorhael ei fron.

Agwedd ei foneddiges—hael anian
Adlono ei fynwes
Gryda mirain gydmares,
Uuodd yn lion i ddwyn lles.

Ni fu un yn fwy enwog—i’n bro deg
Aberdar odidog;
Ei fyw weithiau cyfoethog
Yn y lle sydd yn dwyn llog;

Aed ei enw yn mhlith dynion-uwch uwch,
A’i hedd i’r uchelion;
I’r briodas addas hon,
Wyr enwog—Hwre union.

Tra fflam yn Aberaman-yn esgyn
Mewn gwisg o aur purlan,
I Bailey gu rhy’r bobl gau
Hyderus fal nerthol daran.
Hail Countess with God’s blessing-an angel
In honour and feeling;
How grateful we are all greeting
Thy wedding here, sincere I Sing.

Subsequently, several excellent songs and a few toasts, which were, however, more of a private than public character, were given. The best of feeling prevailed throughout the proceedings, and a spirit of deep respect for the Bailey family was manifested during the evening. The company broke up at a good hour, satisfied that they had been rejoicing over a good cause, and delighted with the enjoyment the festivities bad yielded them. Throughout the day the most perfect order prevailed, and the whole of the proceedings, we ought not to omit to state, reflected infinite credit upon Mr. James Nay- smith, who with great heartiness and zeal originated and superintended nearly the whole of what took place. In closing our report, it may not be out of place to breathe a wish that the good hopes so frequently expressed throughout the day in the interest of Mr. Bailey and his bride may be fully realised that long life and happiness may await them, and that they may ever command as much public esteem as they did on Tuesday last!
The funeral of Crawshay Bailey
Abergavenny Chronicle January 20, 1872
Although it was announces that the funeral was to be strictly private, between 3,000 and 4,000 people assembled, chiefly composed of those who were connected with the Nantyglo and Beaufort Ironworks, and who, by their demeanour, expressed the sorrow they felt at the death of their late employer. The road was lined from the lodge to the church, the funeral was announced to start ar 12 o’clock, but it was about 12.45 before the possession started.The choir, which consisted of a part of (Rehoboth (Independent) choir, Brynmawr and part of the Wesleyan choir Nantyglo upon the march from the house sang in slow time the ‘Old Hundreth.’After the arrival at the church, which was crowded to excess, the Rev J. Pugh read the prayers and the Rev G. Howells read the lesson. Before the arrival of the body, the united choirs sang Pope’s ode of ‘Vital Spark’ very beautifully and with great expression.Upon the removal of the body from the church to the vault, the choir sang a most impressive hymn. The long concourse, here assembled, quietly opened the vault and made way for the funeral cortege to pass to the vault. After the body was lowered, the Rev j. Pugh read the last funeral rites.After the service had been read, Mr C. Bailey (son) and two gentlemen went into the vault and place a white camellia (the favourite flower of the deceased gentleman) upon the coffin.Many present were afterwards allowed to go to the vault and take a last look at the coffin of the deceased, which was placed in the centre. On the right hand was the mortal remains of the late Mrs Bailey. On the left, that of the late Captain Lewis and the coffins were apparently on a good state of preservation.

The outer coffin was of polished oak (the inner one being an elm and lead coffin, with brass furniture, the plate bearing the following inscription.

“Crawshay Bailey Died 9th January 1872 Aged 82”

Alaw Goch (David Williams)

A thousand welcomes to the great Crawshay – our Bailey
Live happily, and illustriously;
He made a tiller from the colossus in the ground,
To the multitude, his goodness is immense.

He brought his secrets to light – unfailingly
From the depths far below;
Ore ripped from the abyss
O fine gentleman, coal from the heart.

His renowned machines – built
For his mighty mills;
By releasing their whirling wheels,
Coarse iron bolts will be woven.

A man for all the Cynon Valley – is Bailey,
A living vision and spirit;
His is an angel in his Lord’s lap
Enhancing the welfare of men.

His talents and his ‘gold’ attract them – thousands
Praise him for sure,
Hear heaven from Glo-Nant
The hero, adored by all.

Aberaman, with its fair contracts – will
Rise up in mighty wonder;
Ore of the valley, in demand and praised
In the primed melting pot.

Let his children be blessed, – and his grandsons
Forever successful be;
He shall belong to his men for many years,
And his smiles a bastion of glory.

Crawshay Bailey grave
Crawshay Bailey grave
Back to Aberaman